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Ann Noninvasive Electrocardiol. 2013 Jul;18(4):369-78. doi: 10.1111/anec.12049. Epub 2013 May 3.

Potential prevention of pacing-induced heart failure using simple pacemaker programming algorithm.

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  • 1Second Coronary Artery Disease Department, Institute of Cardiology, Warsaw, Poland.



Right ventricular pacing (RVP) causes ventricular desynchronization and may lead to the development of heart failure (HF). Prolongation of atrioventricular delay (AVD) in DDDR pacemakers reduces unnecessary RV stimulation. The aim of the study was to verify the influence of RVP reduction on HF symptoms.


The study comprised 31 patients (17 men, mean age: 71.6 ± 8 yrs) with DDDR pacemaker implanted due to sinus node dysfunction (SND). At baseline, 28 patients did not present any symptoms of HF. Three patients were in NYHA class II. Patients were randomized either to 150 ms AVD or to minimizing right ventricular pacing (MRVP). Crossing over to the alternate mode took place after 4 months. Cardiopulmonary exercise test (CPX), echocardiography (ECHO) and BNP measurements were done before pacemaker implantation, after 4 and 8 months.


The percentage of RVP was significantly higher in 150 ms AVD than in MRVP: 81.7 ± 22.6 versus 14.2±20.5%, P < 0.0001. Patients with 150 ms mode had worse CPX parameters than those with MRVP mode: peak oxygen uptake was 14.2±4.3 versus 19.9±6.3 ml/kg per min, P = 0.0001, higher BNP concentrations: 72.3±48.3 versus 49.4±43.9 pg/ml, P = 0.001 and worse left ventricle [LV] function: ejection fraction: 53.2±6.7 versus 57.3±5.5%, P < 0.0001; LV diastolic diameter: 4.86±0.52 versus 4.66±0.5 cm, P < 0.01.


Predominant RVP in patients without symptoms of HF at baseline may be responsible for worse performance in cardiopulmonary exercise test, higher BNP concentrations and impairment of LV function. Specific DDDR pacemaker programming promotes intrinsic AV conduction and may prevent the development of pacing-induced HF.

©2013, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


BNP; cardiopulmonary exercise; echocardiography; pacing; sinus node dysfunction

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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